Her screams were loud, enough so that they echoed throughout the entire mansion, servants listening with horror on their faces, the master, Beta Mathew, pacing back and forth in the corridor outside his mate's room, having been banished by the midwife for being completely useless. His wife too had not wanted him to see her like this, her legs up as she tried to bear down and push the babies out of her womb, her body drenched in sweat from the many hours of labor she had been in. It was far too much for a woman to have to take, he thought wretchedly to himself.
Finally, he heard it. The distant wail of a newborn baby and he opened the door to the bedroom, not caring that he might anger the midwife, only caring that he wanted to see the child and make sure his wife was alright. He reached the bed and glanced down at his tired wife who held a babe in her arms, the midwife still between her legs, ready for the second of the twins to be born.
"Hold her" his wife urged between gritted teeth, thrusting the child into his trembling arms.
His wife threw back her head and screamed.
"Push Clarissa" urged the midwife, wiping sweat off her own brow. There was still one more baby to go and the midwife was determined to ensure both babies were born safely.
The woman glared but did as instructed, as her husband sat down in the armchair close by, cradling the baby to his chest.
Beta Mathew was in awe as he stared down at his daughter. She was beautiful, perfect even. With pale skin and blue eyes that stared up at him curiously. She touched his hand and he smiled, feeling misty-eyed. She had a small amount of blonde fuzz, hair that he was certain would look just like his mother's. She was going to look just like the both of them he thought with relief. He found everything about the baby adorable, even the little wrinkles on her fingers and toes. He had never before felt so enamored, except for when he met his wife, and he knew his world was going to be so much bigger now, with children in it.
More screams met his ears and he winced. The baby he held began to cry and he stood up and began to gently rock it back and forth as he looked over at his darling Clarissa who was beginning to curse a mile a minute.
"Get this baby out of me" screamed Clarissa, becoming slightly hysterical, her hazel eyes narrowed on the midwife who looked exasperated.
"I'm trying, just a few more pushes," said the midwife evenly. She tried not to roll her eyes, but it was Clarissa herself who had insisted on giving birth at home with no pain relief. Clearly, the woman hadn't anticipated it would be this painful.
"Push" shouted the midwife and Clarissa gave a wail of agony and did so, her husband feeling guilty in the background over how much pain she was in.
"Again, the head is crowning now Clarissa," the midwife said quietly, trying to encourage the woman who looked quite defeated. At the news, the lady's head rose up and a look of utter determination and fierceness came over her face. She seemed to get a second wind.
"I am pushing" Clarissa snarled, thoroughly fed up. It had been hours since she'd begun to labor and she was exhausted, tired, and close to tears. Men had it so easy, she thought to herself bitterly. She'd like to see Mathew deal with pain like this.
"One more giant push lady Clarissa, I know you can do it," the midwife said with a smile. She was a young woman, with raven black hair tied in a braid and sparkling green eyes. New to the hospital, Clarissa had been unsure if she was professional enough to help her, but now the woman could care less. The only thing that smarted was how gorgeous the midwife still looked, while Clarissa looked less than her best and that was being generous.
Lady Clarissa screamed and screamed as she pushed once more, bearing down as hard as she could while the midwife shouted in support, the child, now held in the midwife's hands as she finished, panting from her exertion.
"You did it" the midwife declared, quickly cleaning the child up as best she could, while Clarissa sat back against the bed, finally letting the tears flow down her cheeks. Her husband came near and kissed the top of her head. "Sweetheart, you were magnificent" he commented. She gave him a watery smile and turned her attention back to the midwife, who cautiously approached and handed over the second baby, also a daughter.
Clarissa glanced down at her child and felt her heart skip a beat. Both daughters were pale, but that was where the resemblance stopped completely. This daughter had hair, hair that was a blazing red of glory, along with green eyes that blinked up at her. It didn't look like Clarissa or Mathew and she noticed, with a pang, that her husband had also realized this, for he too, was frowning down at the child looking completely perplexed.
"The red hair might go blonde" Clarissa offered weakly, knowing how important looks were to Mathew. He bit his lip but nodded, hoping the same thing.
"Sorry to interrupt but I just need the names for the birth certificates," said the midwife breezily, now that she'd finished cleaning up. The two parents glanced at each other. "This one is to be Sophie Brianna Henderson," said Mathew fiercely, indicating the baby he was holding. The midwife gave a nod, frantically scribbling away.
"This one is Amber Rianne Henderson," said Clarissa faintly, cradling the baby to her chest.
"Brilliant. Now is there anything else that you require Clarissa? Would you like me to help you clean up?"
Lady Clarissa hesitated. She glanced at Mathew. He saw the look. "That would be great, thank you," he said jovially, as Clarissa sighed in relief. A shower was going to be heavenly right now and he would get one of the servants to change the bedsheets over while she was in the bathroom.
As he watched the bed being remade, both babies in his strong arms, Beta Mathew felt a well of excitement. He had always dreamed of being a father and he, unlike many in his position, did not care if they were boys or girls. Although a boy would be nice for an heir, they had plenty of time to have another one. Right now though, he was going to enjoy the two children that he did have. He felt such love for them both, as well as a possessiveness that was far greater than he experienced with Clarissa. His wolf was fascinated with their tiny pups, declaring his own love for them as well. His two baby girls began to cry, softly, as he bounced them up and down, grateful when Clarissa came back into the room, clad in a fresh nightgown and looking much more fresh and clean. She lay in the clean bed and held out her arms, pulling the buttons of her nightgown open and exposing her breasts.
"I think they are hungry," she said quietly and he handed Sophie to her first, then helped to put Amber to the second breast, watching in awe as they both began to suckle hungrily.
The midwife was quick and efficient. "If you need anything at all, call the hospital and they will either send me or someone else," the midwife said cheerfully. "Someone will be out in the next two days to see how you are getting along and then in the next few weeks to ensure that you are healing alright."
"Thank you," Beta Mathew said huskily. His wife remained fixated on their babies, wincing slightly at the pain that was coming through her abdomen as they suckled. He hastened back to her side.
The midwife quietly left.
"Does it hurt much?' Mathew asked his wife anxiously.
"A little" she admitted, "but it's worth the pain. Aren't they darling Mathew" she breathed with love in her eyes, holding her babies tightly to her.
"They are gorgeous, just like their mother," he told her firmly "but they look so different."
"I know," she said a little frightened "I cannot say where the red hair has come from. No doubt it will change to blonde in time" she commented.
"No doubt" echoed Mathew.
But the red hair firmly remained. As the girls grew older, the parents discovered that it wasn't just their looks that were completely different, but their personalities as well. Sophie was an incredibly smart, conscientious girl, who obeyed every instruction given to her. She was quiet and calm and stayed well out of trouble. Amber, on the other hand, was brash, smart, brave, opinionated, outspoken, fierce, and sassy. She constantly got into trouble at school and often embarrassed her parents without even trying. No matter how hard they tried to reign her in, she refused to become the meek and pliable person that Sophie was and it exasperated her parents to no end.
To make matters worse, each girl could not stand the other one. Gone were the dreams of them sharing a room and becoming best friends as their mother had fervently hoped. Instead, each one had a separate room, miles away from the other. Sophie's room was a gorgeous white and pink design, while Amber's was green and brown, reminiscent of the forest that she loved so much. Sophie attended training in order to learn to fight, as everyone was instructed to do while human, but did not enjoy it in the least. Amber on the other hand was a magnificent fighter, who was easily able to pick up what she learned, further making Sophie hate her. The parents had never envisioned how hard this would be, and the heir that Mathew had wanted, the boy he had been sure they would have eventually, never materialized to his bitter disappointment, Clarissa for some reason never being able to get pregnant again.
Sophie was adored and cherished by both parents, who loved to take her out and show her around. All their friends and colleagues were impressed with the girl. Amber, on the other hand, was ignored, for the most part, growing up alone as an undesirable, her parents were embarrassed at her behavior and put off by her red hair and green eyes, so different from their own looks. Whenever they did go out as a family, people would comment and ask if Amber was adopted, which caused pain for Amber and her parents. Eventually, they stopped taking her out. She stopped trying to impress her parents and instead decided to be who she was, rather than who she thought they wanted her to be. This created an even bigger divide, one where Amber was all alone, while Sophie and her parents stayed on the other side.
When their sixteenth birthday came, the parents held out hope that perhaps, Amber would impress them with a magnificent wolf. Sophie was the first to shift, being the elder, and turned into a gorgeous silver wolf with the most magnificent blue eyes. She pranced around as her parents congratulated her, Mathew proud of his daughter as he waited anxiously for Amber to change. Amber, knowing how much her parents despised her, waited on tenterhooks for the shift to happen. But the hours passed, her father's scowl getting blacker and blacker until they were forced to acknowledge that Amber wasn't going to shift. Her parents hadn't said a word, merely turning and leaving, Sophie giving Amber a triumphant look. Amber had burst into tears and fled to the forest, spending the day there, wallowing in self-pity, before she too, finally gave up and came home, resigned to being an undesirable.
Even though she never received her wolf, Amber was determined to stay a good fighter and trained constantly. Soon the girls were eighteen, young women. Clarissa silently fretted over how they treated Amber, but Mathew could not be swayed. She feared that he actually hated Amber, even though she too was guilty over the mistreatment that Amber received. In time, she forgot herself and became just as hating and despicable as her husband was towards Amber, while Amber learned to ignore it, holding fiercely onto who she was and refusing to cow down to the people she no longer viewed as her family. This is Amber's Story.